Posted by: Jack Henry | December 28, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Contest Results and a Few Idioms


Thank you all for the idioms you sent in to the Editor’s Corner contest. I received over 400 idioms, so I will share them with you over the months to come. Just a few things I noticed about them in general:

· A lot of idioms focused on animals (especially cats and monkeys).

· Many idioms focused on weather.

· There are quite a few ways to call people “stupid” without using that word.

· The southern states are a hotbed of idiomatic phrases.

· Some of you aren’t really clear on what’s too naughty for work (but I certainly had a few laughs).

· Some of you aren’t really clear on what an idiom is (but I gave you points anyway).

Okay, so let’s get to our winners and the prizes:

· Mary Fleenor (Anguished English)

· Carolin Hopkins (Anguished English)

· Jamie Roller (More Anguished English)

· Scott Murray (American Trivia book)

· Herman Piete (T-shirt, “I’m silently correcting your grammar”)

And now, a definition from Google:

idiom: a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., rain cats and dogs, see the light).

Our first idioms are just of few of the ones I received relating to animals. Enjoy!

Idiom Meaning
Kill two birds with one stone Get two things done simultaneously
As blind as a bat Can’t see a thing
Cooler than a polar bear’s toenails Really slick
As the crow flies In a straight line; the shortest distance between two places
Have a bee in one’s bonnet Obsessed with a topic and can’t stop talking or thinking about it

To be involved with something you think is important in a way that others find it bothersome

Upset or angry about something

I’m as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs Extremely nervous and jumpy

[KC] This was one of the most common ones I received, though I’d never heard it.

On it like a duck on a June bug I’ll get to it immediately and with great determination
Let the cat out of the bag Reveal a secret by accident
They’re sharper than a sack of wet mice. Mentally challenged
Naked as a jaybird Bare naked; unclothed
Birds of a feather flock together People with similar interests (or similar people) tend to associate with each other.
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink You can give someone an opportunity, but you can’t force them to take it.
Heard it straight from the horse’s mouth From the person directly concerned or another authoritative source
A little birdie told me A phrase used in place of someone’s name

Something said when you don’t want to divulge the name of the source

Let sleeping dogs lie Don’t instigate trouble; don’t talk about things that have started problems in the past

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services


  1. I always love to learn idioms and they are always interesting and amusing because of their symbolic meanings but some idioms are really tough to understand. Wonderful post, keep it up.
    Freya, UK

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